Several Years ago I wrote a series of posts linking Leadership and sales together. I wanted to know if they were in any regard similar activities. At the time I concluded that they did in fact have a number of similarities.
What really struck me and influenced my thinking on the connection was the topic of influence. Influence being the holy grail of leadership capability. My definition – getting someone to do what you want (with integrity) because they think its a good idea. When I thought about the sales process my opinion was unaltered. Sales is the process of getting someone to make a purchase decision from you on a product or service because they think its a good idea/ value.
My thoughts on these old posts came back up recently as I embark on the process of becoming an even more effective salesman. As Developing Leaders grows in capability and talent, I have found that I need to expand my client base and add value in more areas. This requires many of the noble aspects of the professional sales man.
So I share with you my readers a few thoughts on how I approach sales
1. My desire is to help and add value.
I would rather walk away from potential business than to earn revenue where there isn’t excellent value created. This means I have and will walk away from training clients who do not want to learn, or companies who use training as a punishment for poor behavior / performance
2. My curiosity and love of people is critical
I want to know my clients and help them. This requires the very relationships we teach in our leadership programs, influence inside of relationship is powerful, outside of relationship it is often just manipulation. Asking the “next question” is my favorite activity. Is it any wonder my first book was called The First Questions. What did you think came next?!
3. The objective is to first deeply understand the problem then to help the client solve it with empathy and patience.
Training is not a fix all and should not be used to whitewash an employee group, it is designed to provide and equip a group to perform in their roles.
4. Relationships like leadership are for the long term.
Expect that we will stay connected and improving for the long haul. Leadership development is not a transaction like microwave popcorn it is a long term growth process. We want to be their down the road when you realize the greatness within you.
Developing Leaders is different, its not about commoditized training programs where you go through a cookie cutter program. We customize our programs to your unique needs and challenges.
If you want to learn how we can work together I encourage you to sign up here for a one on one strategy session with me.
Developing Leaders Inc.